The most recent neighborhood meeting for the Faust building development was a productive one, and it appears that a settlement has been reached. As many long-time Bay View residents may be aware, the long-vacated Faust building was originally purchased by Mikko Erkamaa with the hope of restoring it to its former glory. However, it was determined upon further examination that the structure and façade were beyond restoration. Redeveloping the space into a mixed-use housing complex was collectively decided to be the best course of action going forward.
Over the course of several neighborhood meetings and redesigns by architect Joel Agaki of Dermond Properties, we have settled on a final design for how to most productively use the space. This design reflects the suggestions and concerns raised by several Bay View residents, and serves as a more subtle fit into our thriving community.
The complex will feature nearly 70 units, including mostly one-bedroom apartments with several two-bedroom units and studios as well. An exercise facility, security monitoring and 73 indoor parking spaces are also some of the modern amenities in this design. The first floor has been redesigned to stand 16 feet in height, and will contain mostly retail space that will face Ward Street. Dermond Proporties is looking into funding a Bublr Bikes station that would be located on the edge of Zillman Park as well.
Pictures of a design model are attached below.
The public parking lot adjacent to the current Faust building will be shifted slightly further east, and will feature trees and greenery as well as a decorative fence. It is also important to note that no additional buildings will be torn down to accommodate this new public lot.
Dermond has stated that they expect the existing Faust Building to be demolished by early next year. The public parking lot will be the first phase, and the plan is to break ground in early 2016.
Keep an eye out for notices which will be extended to the 500 closest residents and businesses to the site, and rest assured that measures will be implemented at the new parking lot to make parking safer along Ward Street. A zoning meeting will take place August 17, and a meeting with DPW to plan vacation of the right of way is also scheduled for September 27.
"While it's a shame to see an iconic neighborhood building be taken down, I wish the developers the best as they move forward to the next phases of the project," Alderman Zielinski said. "I appreciate the lengths at which they listened to the neighborhood's concerns and suggestions, and I’m grateful for all the dedicated residents who leant their opinions to making this the best project for Bay View."